WHITESTONE, NY; SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 – In conjunction with Grandparents Day, more than 100 family members recently rolled out the royal carpet for their beloved seniors during the Fourth Annual “Savvy Senior Day.” Presented by Long Island senior advocacy and resource group, Association of Generational Experts for Seniors (AGES), the celebratory event crowned 81-year-old Frank Zizzo of Levittown and 90-year-old Rose Laccone of Whitestone as 2013 Savvy Senior King and Queen, who donned royal crowns and robes while receiving gift certificates toward professional studio portraits, complements of Bradford Renaissance Portraits. Zizzo and Laccone were among a total of 26 senior nominees recognized during the event, each of whom were awarded certificates of appreciation.
“It is so wonderful to be able to celebrate so many exceptional seniors living within our communities,” says AGES Chairperson Rita Medaglio-Barrera. “Each year, we are amazed over the many wonderful seniors who are living among us and their tremendous accomplishments. We are so glad that Savvy Senior Day has become a well received forum in which these remarkable seniors can be celebrated among families and friends and share in a special day in which they can deservingly shine!”
Zizzo, who was crowned by last year’s Savvy Senior King Peter Vannucci of Northport, was designated as this year’s King for his avid Long Island community volunteerism. After having returned from the Korean War in 1952, Zizzo has been regularly involved with various community organizations, including Knights of Columbus and the Long Island Society for Italian Americans, of which he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and is in charge of overseeing finances. Zizzo’s community involvement also include time serving on the Board of Director for the Fulton Street Seniors Program in Brooklyn and participating in its Meals On Wheels Program, and portraying Santa Claus for children with special needs. Additionally, he has been a member of The Young Friends organization in which he has been responsible for voluntarily making cancer pads that were specially designed for skin cancer patients and volunteer to take orphaned children on various on field trips and outings.
Zizzo says he is honored to be designated this year’s Savvy Senior King. “Getting this award is very rewarding as it is a clear indication that the volunteer work I’ve done and continue to do has made a difference,” says Zizzo. “I share this award with my fellow senior volunteers and everyone that we have helped along the way. I hope that other seniors will be inspired by my volunteerism and realize that they too can get involved with their community. You are never too old to get involved and make a difference.”
He added, “AGES is a tremendous asset and resource for seniors today. The entire Savvy Senior Day atmosphere was very uplifting and very nicely executed. The wonderful thing about AGES is that it not only provides an annual forum in which seniors are celebrated but is also an organization that works to keep seniors active and involved through its others functions.”
Proving you can “teach an old dog new tricks,” Laccone mastered the art of acting and singing after turning 65 years of age and, through her drive and talent, has inspired other seniors to not let age interfere with pursuing new talents and interests. Laccone earned this year’s Savvy Senior Queen title for serving as a positive role among seniors and enriching the community through her passion for entertainment. Her vast accomplishments include starring in six one-woman Off-Broadway musical shows and a designation as 1989’s Ms. Senior New York in the National Ms. Senior America competition, in which she also earned the Ms. Senior Talent Award. In 1976, she accepted an invitation to attend Queen Elizabeth's Birthday celebration at Buckingham Palace and was given a copy of the Magna Carta from the Prime Minister. At the age of 88, she appeared on Fox Network’s “The X Factor” where she auditioned with the song, “Quando Quando,” and was interviewed by Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. In addition to regularly performing, Laccone is a motivational speaker who has spoke before such organizations as the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and Holy Trinity Church, as well hospitals and nursing homes.
Laccone says she is proud to add the Savvy Senior Queen title to her list of achievement. “I always tell my audience after every show that everyone has a talent, no matter how big or small, and if you really put your heart and mind to it, you can achieve anything. I am delighted to be named this year’s Savvy Senior Queen and to be an example of what today’s seniors can accomplish. I hope other seniors will be inspired by my message, ‘that nothing is impossible.’”
The Association of Generational Experts for Seniors (AGES) is an independent network of highly qualified, caring and knowledgeable professionals from family and senior related fields. AGES has been created in the New York Metropolitan area for the purpose of addressing the needs and challenges that face many families today. Working within a cohesive resource team that addresses the concerns and needs of today’s senior citizens and “sandwiched” generation (adult children caregivers), AGES members apply their personal skill-sets to help guide seniors and family caregivers toward an improved quality of life. For more information, please visit www.agesresourcenetwork.com.